Geoff has also posted maps of our route, so I will not bother. I had originally hoped to do a much longer walk but various domestic commitments reduced the time I had available. As it happened five days was plenty, given my fitness level.
I'm not sure whether I'm proud to say that I am now entitled to own a Senior Railcard, but I flourished it at the ticket clerk at Penrith Station, gave Geoff a lesson on the need to push the button on the outside of the carriage to open the train door, and our journey began. Two sextagenarians setting off to zig-zag their way to Keswick from Windermere over five or six days. Six if we were feeling fit and full of life, and fancied a diversion to Buttermere. Five if the organiser of the trip ie Lanky Old Fellbound was feeling radgered and fancied a gentle end to the stroll along the shores of Derwent water.
|First wild camp. Lower slopes of Yoke|
|Gratuitous "look at the fabulous view from the tent whilst I'm brewing up" photo|
|On Froswick. Fix the Fells remains on course to urbanise the Lakes.|
|Striking a jaunty pose on Thornthwaite Crag|
|Clearing clag and rain. Looking back to High Street from near Kidsty Pike|
|Camped on Angle Tarn Pikes, at the end of a long Day 2|
|The best dehydrated meal I've ever had|
|Early morning brew, Day 3|
Today, fortunately, is to be an easy day. The easiest of the trip. With a break in Glenridding for cake. And possibly bacon. But certainly cake. I try to smile at all the Americans, and the many others doing the Coast-to-Coast. We are walking against their flow. "No, we aren't going the wrong way. No, we aren't doing it. No we haven't come all the way from Shap by ten in the morning."
Now I would like you to compare and contrast the next two photographs. Ideally, I would have placed them next to each other, but my ability to manipulate Google Blogger is limited. It is true that Geoff may have much better IT skills than me and he can prettify his blog very nicely. He fails miserably, however, in the posing on top of hills department. He really needs to team up with Alan Sloman for a day or so in the mountains. He would then learn the art pretty quickly, or face the backpacking equivalent of the Wrath of Kahn. You will note that the top photograph is of an upright, rugged, rufty tufty but veryveryniceman. The second appears to be a chap broken by a string of Wainwrights and the ranting of his walking companion. Someone who will lie on the ground and scream and scream if he hears one more complaint about Fix the Fells and its inept handiwork.
|A fine figure of a man who has just bounded up Angle Tarn Pikes|
|A broken man, resigning himself to defeat in the posing on top of a hill competition. Never mind, Geoff, you will improve with practice.|
The impact of the over popularity of the Lakes saddens me, even knowing I am part of the problem. The erosion, the terrible path repairs, the litter, the mess at tarns such as this. I am glad I knew the area forty-five years ago, when these problems were much less. I feel like a man in the wrong era these days. Apart from when I'm ill and want modern health care of course.
|Ready for the third night out. Pitched on layers of used rotting toilet paper, tampons and broken beer bottles below Grisedale Tarn. A case for some form of regulation?|
|A sunny Sunday on Helm Crag above Grasmere. Generally, though, it was pretty quiet and we still found solitude for much of the walk|
|Rock gymnasts on the Howitzer, Helm Crag. I did it once to say I had. No need to repeat.|
|Looking east from the pull up to Greenup Edge|
|Looking back to Lining Crag having just descended a Fix the Fells staircase|
It had been a super trip with excellent company. But I was ready for a shower and a rest.
|Well it would have been rude not to go in. Grange-in-Borrowdale.|